Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Seeking Peace and Stability in North Korea ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Seeking Peace and Stability in North Korea ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it," declared the official news agency of North Korea. The assertion referred to the nuclear bomb that they claimed to have successfully produced and tested.

I read the quote over a few times and try to imagine anyone buying the notion that this contributes to peace and stability. Each time I conclude the same thing: a gap about the size of the Pacific Ocean yawns between the statement and reality.

This nation of 23 million is so impoverished that, while it diverted desperately needed resources to develop nuclear technology, 2 million of its citizens starved to death in the 1990s. This nation calls itself "prosperous" in its official news agency pronouncements. I begin to suspect gaps between statements and facts.

It's not that I'm expecting credibility. It's that I'm yearning to pray - effectively - but can't imagine how to reach them. How does one reach leaders who hold notions that, to me at least, seem so completely wrongheaded?

Then I remember one of the basics of prayer. I don't have to reach them. I have to reach out to God, turn to Him, recognize His intelligence, His presence, His power.

I have to let my consciousness become so convinced of His control of the largest of issues and the tiniest of details that nothing and no one is left out. I have to so completely yield my prejudices that I begin to glimpse a globe-sweeping peace is genuinely possible, is consistent with His design, even if not apparently consistent with the design of certain world leaders.

This description of a peaceable kingdom comes to mind: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (Isa. 11:6).

The lamb didn't first have to "reach" the wolf with the idea of nonviolent coexistence; the kid didn't have to "convince" the leopard that weapons would be destabilizing; the calf had no need of speaking "lion-language" before the two could live in peace. …

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